Daphne Eurydice Zuniga (born October 28, 1962) is an American actress known for her roles as Jo Reynolds on the Fox prime time soap opera Melrose Place, as Victoria Davis on The CW teen drama One Tree Hill, and as Princess Vespa in the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs.

Early life

Zuniga was born in Berkeley, California. Her father, Joaquin Zuniga, originally from Guatemala,[1] is an emeritus professor of philosophy at California State University, East Bay.[2] Her mother is a Unitarian minister, of Polish and Finnish descent.[3] Zuniga became interested in acting in high school, performing in a variety of school plays. In her early teens she attended the Young Conservatory program of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) of San Francisco. After her parents divorced, Zuniga moved with her mother and sister from Berkeley to Reading, Vermont. She graduated from Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1980. After high school she studied Theater Arts at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).



Zuniga is best known for playing Jo Reynolds in the 1990s television series Melrose Place. Her television career began nearly ten years earlier when she appeared in several episodes of Family Ties (1984) as a girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton. She also co-starred with Lucille Ball in the drama Stone Pillow in 1985 and was in the 1995 miniseries Degree of Guilt.[4] She was one of many voice actors for the animated television series Stories from My Childhood (1998). Zuniga had a lead role in the mini-series Pandora's Clock (1996).

In 2004-2005, Zuniga appeared in a recurring role in American Dreams.[5] She was on the show Beautiful People on ABC Family in 2005-2006. In 2007, she starred in the fifth season premiere of the drama Nip/Tuck.

She starred in several made for television movies including Secret Lives (2005), The Obsession (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006), Mail Order Bride (2008) and On Strike for Christmas (2010).[6]

Zuniga reprised her role as Princess Vespa from the 1987 film Spaceballs, by voice-over in the television spin-off Spaceballs: The Animated Series. She also reprised her role from Melrose Place in an updated version, but it was short-lived as the series was cancelled after just one season in 2009-10.

2007-2012, Zuniga has appeared in the CW network series One Tree Hill. She played the cold-hearted mother Victoria Davis.


Zuniga's film work has continued in parallel with her television work throughout much of her career. Her first two movies were sorority slasher films The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1981) and The Initiation (1983, with Hunter Tylo), followed by Vision Quest (1985). In 1985, she starred opposite John Cusack in The Sure Thing. She next starred in the 1986 cult film Modern Girls. She was a lead in the 1987 Mel Brooks film Spaceballs, the 1988 film Last Rites, the 1989 films Gross Anatomy (with Matthew Modine), and The Fly II (with Eric Stoltz) and Staying Together (with Sean Astin). She starred in Artificial Lies (2000), Enemies of Laughter (2000), Dog Gone (2003), A-List (2006), Christmas Do-Over (2006) and Seducing Charlie Barker (2010), directed by Amy Glazer. She starred in A Family Thankgving with Faye Dunaway. In 2012, she stars on 3 movies : Changing Hearts with Brad Johnson, Birds of Paradise with Ryan Guzman and Vanished with Nicholas R. Grava.

Other media

In the 1994, Zuniga appeared in the release of a video for Bob Seger's previously released 1976 hit "Night Moves". In the video version of the song, she and a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc are shown in a 1960s drive-in theater, where Zuniga as a dark, edgy young woman becomes a visual fascination for LeBlanc as a clean-cut young man.

She co-produced and co-directed (with Steven Latham) the 2007 documentary "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED" - a look at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference held in Monterey, California.

In February and March 2008, Zuniga appeared onstage in a production of The Scene by Theresa Rebeck, at the San Francisco Playhouse.[7]

She currently stars in the scripted web series Novel Adventures, which premiered November 3, 2008 from CBS Interactive.[8][9]

Personal life

Her younger sister Jennifer Zuniga is also an actress, debuting in the 1992 film A Woman, Her Men, and Her Futon.

In 2004, Zuniga suffered from mercury poisoning, which she attributed to overconsumption of fish. She said she had eaten sushi four times in the week prior to being taken to the emergency room and that her symptoms included weak memory, headaches, crying spells, skin rashes and mild depression.[10] After her diagnosis, Zuniga stopped consuming fish.

Zuniga has supported several environmental campaigns. In 2009, she was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, a not-for-profit development corporation charged with catalyzing sustainable development along the Los Angeles River.[11]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Dorm That Dripped Blood, TheThe Dorm That Dripped Blood Debbie
1983 Quarterback Princess Kim Maida TV movie
1984 Family Ties Rachel Miller Episode: "Double Date"
Episode: "The Graduate"
1984 Initiation, TheThe Initiation Kelly (Terry)
1985 Vision Quest Margie Epstein
1985 Sure Thing, TheThe Sure Thing Alison Bradbury
1985 Stone Pillow Carrie Lang TV movie
1986 Modern Girls Margo
1987 Spaceballs Princess Vespa
1988 Last Rites Angela
1989 Fly II, TheThe Fly II Beth
1989 Staying Together Beverly Young
1989 Gross Anatomy Laurie Rorbach
1989 Nightmare Classics Irene Marlowe Episode: "The Eyes of the Panther"
1992 Mad at the Moon Young Mrs. Miller
1992 Prey of the Chameleon Patricia / Elizabeth Burrows
1992–1996 Melrose Place Jo Reynolds 110 episodes
1993 Eight Hundred Leagues Down the Amazon Minha
1993 Hidden Room, TheThe Hidden Room Elizabeth Mahern Episode: "The Faithful Follower"
1994 Charlie's Ghost Story Ronda
1994 Cityscrapes: Los Angeles Chantal
1994 Models Inc. Jo Reynolds Episode: "Pilot"
1995 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Cinderella (voice) Episode: "Cinderella"
1995 Degree of Guilt Teresa 'Terri' Peralta TV movie
1996 Pandora's Clock Dr. Roni Sanders TV movie
1997 Loss of Faith Claire Hainey TV movie
1997 Naked in the Cold Sun Rini
1997 Johnny Bravo Gabrielle (voice) Episode: "I Used to Be Funny/My Fair Dork/'Twas the Night"
1997 Dead Man's Gun Lillian / Tanya Episode: "Black Widow"
1997 Stand-ins Shirley
1997 Spin City Carrie Episode: "Hot in the City"
1998 Spin City Carrie Episode: "It Happened One Night"
1998 Stories from My Childhood Episode: "Ivan and His Magic Pony"
1999 The Outer Limits Juliette Kagan Episode: "Essence of Life"
1999 Batman Beyond Lula (voice) Episode: "Once Burned"
2000 Batman Beyond April (voice) Episode: "April Moon"
2000 Artificial Lies Karen Wettering
2000 Stark Raving Mad Dr. Anne Russo Episode: "Therapy"
2000 Enemies of Laughter Judy
2003 Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail Amanda Morton TV movie
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Emma Dishell Episode: "Abomination"
2003 Eve Mrs. King Episode: "Twas the Fight Before Christmas"
2004–2005 American Dreams Shelly Pierce 14 episodes
2005 Secret Lives Jill Thompson
2005–2006 Beautiful People Lynn Kerr 16 episodes
2006 A-List Tina
2006 Obsession, TheThe Obsession Deborah Matthews TV movie
2006 Christmas Do-Over Jill TV movie
2007 Nip/Tuck Carly Summers Episode: "Carly Summers"
2007–2009 Spaceballs: The Animated Series Princess Vespa (voice) 12 episodes
2008 Mail Order Bride Diana McQueen
2008 Novel Adventures Laura French 8 episodes
2008–2012 One Tree Hill Victoria Davis 42 episodes
2009 Melrose Place Jo Reynolds Episode: "Windsor"
2010 Melrose Place Jo Reynolds Episode: "Santa Fe"
2010 Seducing Charlie Barker Stella
2010 Family Thanksgiving, AA Family Thanksgiving Claudia TV movie
2010 On Strike for Christmas Joy Robertson TV movie
2012 Changing Hearts Christine
2012 Birds of Paradise Elana
2012 Vanished


  1. Daphne Zuniga displays snob appeal in `Spaceballs'. Retrieved on 2012-10-15.
  2. "Emeritus Professors", Department of Philosophy, California State University, East Bay, website
  3. Daphne Zuniga Biography (1962?-). Retrieved on 2012-07-13.
  4. HER STRENGTH HITS NEW 'DEGREE, October 29, 1995, Daily News of Los Angeles
  5. Jay Bobbin, "Daphne Zuniga Has 'American Dreams'", October 3, 2004, News
  6. Mail Order Bride. Retrieved on 2012-07-13.
  7. Tristan Fuge, "Daphne Zuniga to Star in San Francisco Playhouse's The Scene", Theatre Mania, January 4, 2008
  8. Novel Adventures. Retrieved on 2012-07-13.
  9. Insider: biography of her character, Laura
  10. Liz Borod Wright, "Actress Describes Mercury Poisoning Ordeal: Daphne Zuniga Was Eating a High Seafood Diet, ABC News, October 21, 2005
  11. LA River Revitalization Corporation, The Board. Retrieved on 15 October 2012.

External links

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